The arraignment of Lukman Sani Waziri, a former accountant of the Usmanu Danfodio University Teaching Hospital Sokoto, accused of a N245.9 million fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before Justice Malami Dogondaji of the Sokoto State High Court, Sokoto could not proceed today as planned due to a motion for the enforcement of fundamental human rights filed by the defendant.
He was to be arraigned on one count charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence and fraud to the tune of N249, 984, 847. 62 (Two Hundred and Forty-nine Million, Nine Hundred and Eighty-four Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty-seven Naira, Sixty-two Kobo) from the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) and Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) platforms, while he worked as accountant with the Finance Department of Usmanu Danfodio University Teaching Hospital Sokoto.
When the case was called, prosecution counsel, S.H Sa’ad prayed the Court that the charge be read to the defendant for the purpose of entering a plea but defence counsel, J.E Ochidi SAN objected. He referred the Court to a pending fundamental human rights enforcement suit yet to be determined and sued for time to confer with his client and prepare a defence.
Justice Dogondaji ruled that the fundamental human rights suit pending is civil in nature and therefore cannot stop the criminal charge from proceeding, either way it is determined. The Judge adjourned arraignment till March 18, 2021 to enable the defence to prepare while the defendant was remanded in EFCC custody.